Love it when local fall produce rolls in! Kale, greens and tomatoes from Home Farm. Prune plums, apples from various neighbours. Local BC garlic, last Fraser Valley strawberries and raspberries. The reliable zuchini. Squashes and pumpkins. Beautiful, fresh, colorful. 

sugar pie pumpkins local apples bc garlic local prune plums

A glorious fall day here on Bowen Island! Clear sunny skies, nice cool breeze...a great day to have an afternoon off. Which we will all be doing when the store closes at 1pm due to an island wide 4 hour BC HYDRO power cut. It is never dull here on our little peice of paradise!. Meanwhile, a latte on the patio and a stockpile of instant easy food for tonight might be a great plan.

outside 2

AArrgg...sometimes running a  small independent grocery store on a little island can be pretty rough! Like when the delivery truck leaves skids of your product behind in Vancouver because it is full, and you cant' get another refrigerated truck for 4 days. Or when a supplier forgets to fill your order and the expensive delivery truck arrives to pick it up...to find no order...and so no product replenishment from the weekend...and then the scheduled truck can't go back because of ferry times, and then after much calling and negotiating, another truck is arranged for the following day, which gets bumped, resulting in our ice cream and frozen being shipped from Vancouver, over the ferry etc in a non refrigerated truck, without letting us know there is a problem etc etc. Just sayin.  And then, our internet landline goes down, crashing payment services so we can only take cash, no credit of debit cards. Not the best week, all in all.

All to say, we are VERY GRATEFUL for our wonderful sustaining local community support. THANKYOU for hanging with us!

How did it get to be August 1st already?

With record high temperatures in the forecast and fires raging around the Province, I'm feeling grateful to be surrounded by temperate rainforest and fabulous beaches. Time to grab some healthy delicious snacks and get out there!

small kid with beach cooler

How about we all rise up and say NO to industrial logging on Bowen Island?

Easy. 

No. 

Logging5

We just got our first shipment from BJORNBAR BAKERY in North Vancouver. WOW. Really beautiful handmade bars, squares and merangues. Also this killer thing called a Raspberry B Bomb: basically a croissant/donut rolled around homemade raspberry jam, baked, and rolled in sugar. Oh my. 

Bjornbar merangues bjornbar berry bar bjornbar brulee squares

Happy Canada day all!

moose with flags

Returnable refillable mason jars. We launched this idea last week, with layered salads, pasta sauces, chutneys, and jars available for filling in the deli. The idea is to replace plastic takeaway containers with return-for-refund jars, the same way Avalon Milk handles their glass bottles.

Here's how it's going so far:

-We have probably 100 mason jars out there in circulation: only about 5 have come back to us.

-Customers like the idea, but the majority still take the plastic option. 

-We have not been able to sell all the mason jar salads that we have made (even though they are gorgeous..). Maybe the jar is prohibitive? Maybe they should be displayed in a different part o the store? Maybe folks haven't found them yet?

-not sure that anyone has chosen a returnable mason jar over a plastic container in the deli.

Upshot: People seem to really like the idea in principle. We will keep working on the offering and putting the info out there!

mason jar

 

Sounds like summer might actually arrive this weekend, with temps forecasted at 30 degrees. We have been devising some awesome heat busters in our deli. ORCA AFFOGATO works: a pull of Moja Espresso poured over a scoop of Marios vanilla ice cream. BLUE SKY FLOATS work too: Blue Sky pop poured over a couple scoops of Marios vanilla. Next up: Sundae bowls...but that's another story!

orca affogato ice cream float

We have finally figured out how to sell weighted product in re-fillable MASON JARS. Starting small with Major Gray's MANGO CHUTNEY to see how it goes. Customers pay a 1$ deposit on the jar when they buy the product. Bring us back the cleaned jar and we return the dollar. Then we sanitize the jar and re-fill it, etc. etc. NO recycling or waste. Feedback welcome!

mason jar chutney

Round Bowen SAILING RACE this Saturday (june 10). So looking forward to it. Even if you are not a racing sailor, it is a highly entertaining event here on Bowen Island. Over 100 boats will start (usually in front of the Ferry!!) Saturday morning, and the fleet can be seen in its glorious progress from many Bowen beaches throughout the day. Pretty rowdy in Snug Cove after the race too, with a big party at the marina!

round bowen race  round bowen race 2

Did you know about Traceable Milk?

You can buy it in our store, and enjoy it in all our coffee drinks at the Deli. 

Avalon dairy traceable milk

Info from their website:

Traceable Milk

Transparency makes for a clear choice when it comes to the milk you buy!

While Avalon Dairy has celebrated many ‘firsts’ over the 100+ years we’ve been in business, in 2015 we were part of something truly special when, working together with eco-dairies, we debuted BC’s first Traceable Milk to market! When you buy traceable milk, you are participating in the combined, organized and transparent efforts of BC’s eco-dairy industry, ensuring that you the consumer can see which farm your milk comes from, and that you can access, explore and learn more about the particular farm and its dairy farming practices.

What difference would it make if you knew where your milk source is from? With Avalon traceable milk, you can be assured that all of the products come from cows whose welfare is a top priority. In fact, you can even visit the farm online  and see for yourself.

This nourishing new addition to the Avalon product line is an excellent source of protein, carbohydrates and healthy milk fat. The conjugated linoleic acid contained in Avalon Traceable Milk is a fatty acid which occurs naturally in dairy products and has been shown to lower cholesterol as well as protect against certain types of cancer. Other immune supporting factors in Avalon Traceable Milk include the anti-oxidant protection of selenium.

Now, with each Avalon traceable product, you will not only get the freshest, highest quality raw materials, you will also be guaranteed that the production process itself excels at every level. We are proud to be the Home of BC’s First Traceable Milk.

Happy Cows = Yummy Milk = Udderly Traceable

We just had our espresso machine repaired...

machine bits

yikes. Thanks Yavor!

rain

May-uary

yeesh. 

Image result for orcas in howe sound peace valley oil tank farm

ALMOST VOTING DAY

corn

Look what we just got!

According to a report by the Minister of the the Department of Agriculture, published in Victoria in 1927:

BC was home to 32 Creameries, 3 Condensaries, 1 powdered milk plant, 3 cheese factories, 34 dairy plants, and 14 misc. operations producing ice cream. 

 

Per the BC Dairy Industry website, 2009:

Agriculture is an important component of British Columbia’s economy, and dairy production is at the top of the list, with dairy farm cash receipts over $490 million in 2009. In fact, even though BC has just 5.9% of the national Market Share Quota (MSQ), the province contributes 9.1% of national farm cash receipts, primarily because BC dairy farms are some of the largest in the country, with an average farm size of approximately 135 milking cows. Dairy products grew 31% as a farm commodity from 1996 to 2006."

According to Agriculture Canada, in 2016 there were 417 dairy farms in BC. BC's MSQ (Market share quota) was 6.8%

 

Looking back over our Easter recipes and posts, I thought this balloon-molded chocolate cup might be worth re-posting. Full instructions under our "recipes" tab...

chocolate dipped balloons   chocolate cups

yum!

How did it get to be March already!! It has been snowing here all week...so strange for the wet coast.

I'm warming up with our new product line from UMI'S KITCHEN...a local Vancouver company

Find out about them here: umi's kitchen

Our kitchen is hiring....looking for a full time cook!

Could be 4 or 5 days/week.  Hopefully able to start by mid March.

The Kitchen is at 511 Sunset Road on Bowen's west side. They make a great line of ready to go meals, pizzas, panninis, 

sandwiches, and desserts. 

JEFF is the Manager: Phone 604 047 0665 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

 

Thinking about reducing plastic. I've been experimenting with these shifts in habit at home, and discovering that they make quite a difference!

Buy bulk coffee (we have MOJA in the bulk, so I could handle the switch) in small quantities to keep it fresh, in a PAPER bag. Transfer it to a sealed container at home. 

 Skip the plastic bags in the produce section. Lots of fruit and Veg can just roll around in your shopping basket, go through the till in their unpackaged form and go straight into your fridge crisper at home. There are usually "bulk" choices that are not pre-packaged. If you need a produce bag, bring one from home or use a PAPER bag.

Buy milk in avalon glass bottles and get in the habit of returning them to the store for a refund. 

Make your own yogurt...it is embarrassingly simple. See directions on side bar. 

Buy bulk granola, transport in a paper bag, or bring a bag from home.  Or make your own granola...super easy. Recipe on this website. Ditto for rice, pulses, nuts etc. Skip the plastic bags!!

 

Rainy day blues....

Looking out the window at the dark rain pouring down...it's hard to feel inspired today! Here is a nice collection from New York Times Cooking to kick start the afternoon.... 

Chickpea Vegetable Soup articleLarge

NYT rainy day recipes

Happy Valentines Day!

I'm thinking about little valentines nutella and cherry jam hand pies...

Chocolate Cherry Hand Pies

An easy home made sweet for your sweetie!

Snowin' on Bowen...AGAIN. Our parking lot is not too bad, and the coffee is on!

snow feb 2017

And, I happened to catch one of our awesome staff in the pic....Here's Angus, out with the shovel!

angus in snow

Kitchen closed for cleaning today. The cafe is open for coffee and sandwiches.

Should be back to full production tomorrow...just in time for the next big winter storm!